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The Art of the Handwritten Note: When You Want To Say Something Extra Special

May 07, 2021 03:18PM ● By ANN MARIE O’PHELAN

Although emails, text messaging and online greeting cards are viable ways of staying in touch, saying thank you and even sending out invitations, there is something to be said for a handwritten note. It is personalized, offers a special touch and shows an extra effort to make a connection. 

Indeed, the trend is toward slowing down and taking time to think about the important things, like brightening someone’s day with a birthday, get well or thank you card, which, according to the Greeting Card Association, are among the most popular cards for people to send.  

“There’s nothing like getting a handwritten card in my mailbox,” says Fort Myers resident Shelby Browne, who often corresponds with her long-distance friends and family through the post office. 

Although you can pick up standard greeting cards at most grocery and drug-store chains, you can also take it a step further and send cards that are extra special, such as those found at MacIntosh Books + Paper on Sanibel. 

“I find that our customers are sending more cards this year as a way to stay connected with family and friends,” says owner Rebecca Binkowski, adding that cards and stationery are a large part of her business. “Everyone likes to receive a handwritten surprise in the mail.”  

The store carries stationery by Kate Spade, Karen Adams, Lovepop and a variety of unique cards by local artists such as Terry Gardiner and Renee Chasteen. MacIntosh offers cards for all occasions, including birthday, wedding, new baby, friendship and holidays like Mother’s and Father’s Day. Styles range from whimsical and less formal to serious and more traditional. Some have elaborate three-dimensional designs; others are one of a kind.  

Also popular are stationery sheets for longer letter writing. “They have had a revival as more people are connecting through letters. This benefits the writer as well as the receiver to share such a personal gesture,” explains Binkowski.  

MacIntosh Books + Paper offers dozens of customizable stationery options through companies such as Embossed Graphics, with orders arriving in a week to 10 days. “Custom stationery is a great gift for any occasion, but especially for graduation,” adds Binkowski. 

For an extra personal touch for cards and letters, senders may add stickers, photos, cartoons or clippings from the local paper, providing recipes and even a dollar or two for the grandkids. People also like to use pens in fun colors to add a signature, smile, star or doodle. 

“Many are keeping tabs on older, more isolated parents and grandparents and find that sending a little something with a card or note, like a photograph, a printed article, a sudoku puzzle or a joke, gives them something extra to talk about,” explains Binkowski.  

Although connecting online with friends and loved ones is not going away, many hope this revival of handwritten cards and letters will continue. 



MacIntosh Books + Paper 
2330 Palm Ridge Road, #6, Sanibel 


Ann Marie O’Phelan is a Southwest Florida resident and a regular contributor to TOTI Media.